I live in a village! A village, still feels so weird to say those words almost 2 years down the line. I’m always met with laughter and jibes by my city friends whenever I say for example “Just popping to the park in the village here” I think it will always seem a bit alien to everyone I know, as well as myself.
I remember those first few weeks of moving here. I would take my morning coffee and sit in my beautiful garden. The only sounds I could hear were the birds singing their morning chorus. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? For me those first few weeks all I could feel was pure panic. It was too quiet and so the panic grew more intense each day, so much so the first thing I did was go and put my radio on every morning to hear some “life.”
My family home in East London was on a small estate and from my bedroom window I could see houses upon houses and a sixteen story tower block. At night I fell asleep to the gentle thrumming of the police helicopters above and woke to the rattle of the district line. I did well at school and was the first grandchild of 45 (large irish family) to do my A Levels and achieve a degree. It never even occurred to me to leave London and study anywhere else in the country and so I stayed in London to study. I moved out at 20 and lived in a room above a pub in Whitechapel. My windows shook every time the air ambulance landed at the London Hospital. I loved it!
Those first months I was kept busy, my husband searched for work and eventually found himself a job and my eldest two started at the local nursery. My family visited regularly bringing up the grandparents and I’d regale them with anecdotes of the walks we had found and that a “cow was just standing there in front of me on the path!” My grandad now classed me as a “Northerner.” Apparently anything more north than Watford means I’d switched sides. However as the time went on visitors became less frequent, the children were at school and my husband worked long hours. I’d never felt so alone and I missed London desperately.
I had never found it difficult to make friends. I have always been described as outgoing, bubbly and happy but now it felt like I was having to work at being those things. I tried hard to speak to the other parents at the school gate but it seemed my cockney accent stuck out like a sore thumb. I drew some interest for a while and was spoken to but before long I became aware of a definite clique situation going on and so I became knowledgable of “parent-gate politics” which I will post about separately at a later stage.
I would travel back to my parents often and then it became less and less, until at one point it was a whole year since I had been “home.” Every time I went back something would have changed, my cousins and friends would be talking of new parks, gossip from the local pub or new play groups. I withdrew into myself, wouldn’t answer my phone and my husband became worried about the lively girl he had married. I finally took myself to the doctors and began a course of anti depressants. We also moved village to one close by and can now say I am settled and beginning my journey again as the old me.
I look forward to letting you know my journey and how the transition has affected my families lives for the better. I welcome any comments and new subscribers. So it begins!